Base model: Scarpa Instinct VS
Construction: Board lasted
Closure: Velcro
Fit: Performance fit
Downturn: Moderate
Environment: Indoor, Outdoor
Material: Synthetic, Vibram sole
Lining: Unlined
Last Shape: Asymmetric
Stiffness: Soft
Thickness: 3.5mm
Top: Low
Use: Bouldering, Sport, Trad
Price: $175
Weight: Men: 8.1oz
Brand: Scarpa
Colorways: Black
Small True to size Large
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Expert Reviews

Experts are climbers, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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97 / 100 based on 6 expert reviews

  • 100 / 100 | EpicTV | Level 4 expert

    Simply, it's been made to last.

  • 94 / 100 | EpicTV Climbing Daily | | Level 3 expert

    Comfortable and yet still aggressive.

  • 97 / 100 | Rock and Ice | Level 3 expert

    They perform well in a variety of scenarios.

  • 93 / 100 | UKClimbing | | Level 3 expert

    I would undoubtedly recommend the VS-R as more of a friction based boot for sandstone, gritstone and granite.

  • 100 / 100 | Climbing | | Level 2 expert

    One of the best shoes I’ve ever used that climbs everything well, with a perfect balance of softness and durability.

  • 100 / 100 | Rock + Run | | Level 1 expert

    For me they are the perfect shoe!

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-The Scarpa Instinct VSR, dubbed by the company as a more supple version of the Instinct VS, is engineered to respond to the demands of agile climbers. Its form-fitting construction enables wearers to perform a variety of climbing moves on challenging routes.

-Scarpa shoemakers built it with the Bi-Tension system. This technology doubles down on climbing precision by allowing the toes to expend power with improved efficiency. It also keeps the shoe’s weight at a minimum.

Downturn. The Instinct VSR is part of Scarpa’s selection of moderately downturned rock climbing shoes. This kind of camber puts the toes in such a position that allows wearers to scale a variety of terrain. It offers enough comfort on multi-pitch ascents.

Applications. The Scarpa Instinct VSR is built for trad and sport climbing as well as bouldering. Owners may use it both indoors and outdoors.

The Scarpa Instinct VSR is a low-top rock climbing shoe. This is a unisex piece, which means female patrons may need to go down a full size to get the best possible fit in it. Allowing climbers to customize its fit is the shoe’s Velcro strapping system. Litlle-to-no stretch is expected from its microsuede upper.

Midsole. The Instinct VSR is armed with the Flexan midsole. This sturdy component helps in keeping the shoe retain its shape for the long haul. It also provides sufficient support underfoot. It has an overall thickness of 1 mm.

Outsole. This Scarpa rock shoe has its supply of sticking power coming from its long-wearing outsole, called Vibram XS Grip 2. It is made of a rubber compound that makes it capable of generating and maintaining traction on different kinds of surfaces. This 3.5-mm thick layer also absorbs shock proactively.

Microsuede, a kind of synthetic leather, is the primary material used in the Instinct VSR’s below-the-ankle upper. It is built without a liner, giving the foot a more intimate feel of its surroundings. Scarpa designers wrapped its lower perimeter with a hard-wearing rand to protect the shoe from cuts and scrapes and give owners extra climbing grip. They also armed it with a textured toe patch which provides ample adhesive power during toe-hooking maneuvers.

An adjustable strap makes up the Instinct VSR’s closure system. This lone strap is built with Velcro (hook-and-loop) fasteners. Helping users get in and out of the Instinct VSR as quickly as possible are the shoe’s three pull loops.

The Instinct VSR is a proud contributor to the growing list of quality rock climbing shoes of Scarpa. As such, many climb aficionados often pit it against other offerings across different brands. In this comparison, the featured product finds a rival in the La Sportiva Solution. The aspects that discuss their differences are as follows:

Price tag. Of the two climb-specific kicks, the Scarpa Instinct VSR is the less expensive rock climbing shoe. Yes, it is cheaper than the La Sportiva Solution by approximately $5.

Camber profile. The Instinct VSR, as discussed in the Profile section, has a moderate downturn. The Solution, on the other hand, is categorized under La Sportiva’s aggressively downturned climbing shoes. If a more well-rounded performance is what you are after, go with the former. If you need more forefoot precision, especially on overhangs, the latter is the way to go.

Weight. In this area, the featured shoe from Scarpa has a clear advantage. Indeed, compared with La Sportiva’s climbing piece, the Instinct VSR is about 30 g lighter.

Outsole. Both climbing shoes in this comparison come with the same Vibram XS Grip 2 outsole. That said, the Scarpa Instinct VSR’s outsole is thinner than the Solution’s by about 0.5 mm.

Upper. The Scarpa Instinct VSR has a synthetic upper. Its competitor, on the other hand, has its main shell made of genuine leather. The La Sportiva Solution has a liner around the toe box and the arch region, whereas the Instinct VSR has none.

Midsole. The supportive Flexan midsole of the Scarpa Instinct VSR is thinner than the La Sportiva Solution’s LaspoFlex midsole by a mere 0.1 mm.